Why I'm Conservative

So, with our new Prime Minister being sworn in yesterday, I thought it was high time that I step up to the plate and take a swing at explaining why I'm a conservative voter. If you're left-leaning and you're reading this - remember, it's your choice to read my post. Don't claim to be offended by my views. OK?

I was raised in a home with both parents clearly and decisively conservative. They called Bob Hawke 'Pieface' *snicker* and definitely did not like Paul Keating (sadly, there were no immature names for him, they just didn't like him). They were most definitely and decidedly not 'green'.

I have always been interested in politics. We didn't talk about it much at home - just an occasional tirade against Mr Hawke or Mr Keating. I loved going to Canberra on my Grade 7 excursion and learning all about parliament. I was enthralled with the debates about debt, policies and polls. I even took an elective in my teaching degree on Australian Politics!

So for a long time, I held conservative views because my parents did. That's what children do, right?

When the time came for me to start voting for myself, I decided to investigate why I believed what I did about conservatism. Why was I so against debt? Why did I think it was better to have lower taxes and more private enterprise? Why did I not like how some unions behaved?

I found that there's good in both sides of politics, but my personal views leaned more towards the right, or conservative side.

Here's a rather random list of my beliefs about government and politics. These are my beliefs and I won't be apologising for them. If you're offended; sorry - that's your problem, not mine - I've got no time for those who will want to take a shot at me simply because I don't see things the way they do! I am, however, happy to answer any polite questions that will lead to healthy and learned discussion. Bring those on, but keep any temptation to have a temper tantrum to yourself!

I believe in freedom from government. I believe that we're not answerable to the government, but rather the government is answerable to us. The government should fear the people, not the other way around. I am concerned with the rate at which the government inserts itself into my life. For example, I am penalised financially if I choose not to immunise my child fully. Whatever your views on immunisation, no family should ever be forced to undertake medical treatment that they don't like or trust. Yes, it's messy and sometimes tragic. But it's freedom. It's the price we pay.

I believe in personal responsibility. I don't like welfare. Jesus clearly defined the difference between the poor who genuinely needed help and the poor who were lazy and reaping the consequences of it. See here. I think it's better for the citizens themselves to be generous and help out in their own community, rather than surrender millions or even billions of dollars to notoriously wasteful and slow governments, whether they're left or right - governments waste money. I read recently about how mothers who have chosen to abort their full-term babies simply claim that their baby is 'stillborn' and receive the baby bonus. Bernard Gaynor has written about it here. This is a prime example of government political correctness, waste and most importantly: injustice.

How much better would it be if we took responsibility for ourselves and others who need help? And yes, I know that there are selfish folk who are only interested in building up their own material wealth and care not a jot for anyone else........but is that worth us wasting so much money and resources? How much better would our society be if we gave money to those we knew needed it, rather than watch people in housing commission homes purchase a caravan and send their children to a private school?

I don't like debt. I know that Australia has a great economy compared to others and that we're so wealthy and yadda, yadda, yadda. The fact remains: those whom you owe money to own you. They can pull the plug any time. It gives them leverage in many ways. I believe in freedom, so debt is something I prefer to keep to a minimum. When Kevin Rudd went on a spending spree to 'stimulate the economy', wasting our surplus, I was disgusted. It fed our greed. It didn't save our economy one bit.

I believe that as a free society, businesses should be able to hire and fire whoever they want, however they want. That sounds cruel, I know. But I don't care. If someone has worked hard to build up their business and an employee has done something wrong, then the business owner should be able to fire them immediately. I mean, why would an employee want to work for a boss that thinks they're incompetent and wants them to leave anyway? It'd be extremely unpleasant and make for a horrible work environment. If someone thinks they're a great employee, they should be lapped up quickly by another business, shouldn't they? Shouldn't they?

On that point, I knew someone who ran a boat building business with her husband. They were happy and more importantly, their employees were happy when Prime Minister John Howard removed government red tape and allowed businesses to pay their employees for their holidays. This business had employees that wanted to work for their holidays and be paid extra, but stifling red tape had made it illegal. That's not freedom! With the removal of that red tape, they had flexibility and freedom!

I believe that marriage should be between one man and one woman for life. I believe no-fault divorce is a big mistake and should be removed from law. I believe abortion is wrong except when the mother's life is genuinely in danger. I believe that the family unit should be respected and upheld. I do not agree with paid parental leave and I have the shocking notion that mothers should stay home with their children while they're young and work their career around their families, not the other way around. I don't agree with 17.5% holiday loading.

I don't like the way most unions behave, although I have been a member of a union before and I agree that they are sometimes useful and necessary. I see no problem with employees gathering together for support. I have a problem when they use their power to destroy businesses because they aren't getting what they want. The QANTAS baggage handlers dispute is a prime example of this. Alan Joyce, the CEO of QANTAS, claimed that the union threatened to 'kill QANTAS slowly' because they wouldn't raise the baggage handler's pay. Unfortunately for them, the financial books showed that QANTAS actually couldn't afford in any way, shape or form, to raise the pay. It'd destroy the airline. But they wanted a pay rise and they wanted it now - waaaaaaaaaah!


I'm going to write another post on this, but I totally disagree with foreign aid. It comes back to not trusting wasteful governments to implement effective programs to grow poor nations. I would rather support grass-roots, local programs that I know are helping. Our church is in a village in Vietnam helping out in real and practical ways. I'd rather give to that, than anonymous people working for the government. I also know of an orphanage that is run by a group of people, one of whom has a mum whom I know. I would rather support them. I would rather support charities rather than trust the government to be a good steward of my aid money.

So, in a nutshell, that's why I'm conservative. I prefer freedom from government, I choose to be responsible and I try to do what Jesus said - 'Love one another.' - John 13:34-35. This, I believe, is the essence of conservatism.



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